Something’s Gotta Give

September 23, 2010

I can’t do it all. When I forget or ignore this fact- that’s when it becomes a problem.

There are so many things that I want to do and be. But, I can’t do and be everything. I’d make my list about all that I want to do and be, but it would be tedious to read. We all have our list.

The temptation is to pretend that we really can do it all if we just manage our time better. If we just try a little harder. There are limitations in life. I think that sitting with those limitations is a key to living a more fulfilling life. Sitting with our limitations forces us to choose. The painful reality is that whether we acknowledge these choices or not, we are making choices.

I choose to schedule too much into my day, and I wind up snapping at my kids- truly two of the people to whom I am most accountable. Also the two people who are most vulnerable to a mom whose priorities are out of whack.

I choose to say yes to a commitment that I didn’t think through. And this commitment robs time from the people and projects that are most important to me and to our family.

There are always choices. They may be brutal choices, but we still have choices- choices that can be very costly.

I’m borrowing this phrase from my sister’s friend Heather. “There are no short cuts”. I think that it’s really true. I can’t have a fantastic relationship with my husband and children without investment. I can’t have a fabulous garden without spending time on it (which, by the way, is why my back yard looks like a pit right now). I can’t have great food for my family without spending time cooking. We can’t have a ton of money unless my husband works really long hours. We can’t have a big house in a nice area without a certain level of income. I can’t have a demanding career and stay home with my children. Trade offs. Choices.

So, I’m challenging myself. Think it through, Robin. What do I most want to do and be? Because something has got to give.

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4 Responses to “Something’s Gotta Give”

  1. Harriet Says:

    Wow. Thanks, I really needed that this morning. I resonated with everything- from the part about snapping at the kids, to the husband/wife relationship, to cooking good food, to the back yard looking like a pit because that’s my front yard.

    If you figure it out, please let me know.

    Hang in there! I don’t know you personally, but you sound like an amazing mom and person.

    • Robin Johnson Simpson Says:

      Thanks for the kind words. I don’t have it wired. Trying my best to filter decisions about my calendar through what our family values and is trying to accomplish. It’s not easy, which is why i struggle with it so much.

  2. Ginna Says:

    I have been struggling with this, too. Sometimes I think it’s something that women in particular have trouble doing– keeping your space both neat and beautiful, keeping yourself neat and beautiful, cooking perfect meals, taking care of loved ones, going on vacation– having fun imperative.

    I really feel the stress of this around eating– I dread going to the store, because I have impossible expectations around buying food. When I go to the store, I want to get the most healthy AND inexpensive food possible. But I also want it to be quick/convenient since I’m working and going to school. And nothing is perfectly healthy, perfectly cheap, and perfectly quick!

    Something’s gotta give.

  3. Holly Says:

    Robin – I love the “no short cuts” concept. It forces me choose less for my “I want” list. But I know that what IS on my list will be done well and fully!


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